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The Learning Curve
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The Learning Curve

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  3,136 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Nicky Hobbs loves teaching at the local primary school. She's idolised by her class - in particular ten-year-old Oscar Samuels - but she's starting to find she'd quite like some adult adoration for a change.

Mark Samuels is a frazzled single father working all the hours God gives to provide for his beloved son, Oscar. But he's unable to see that Oscar would prefer his prese
Paperback, 560 pages
Published August 3rd 2006 by Arrow (first published 2006)
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Best chicklit
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Community Reviews

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Nov 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
The Learning Curve is late author Melissa Nathan’s final book. And being maudlin wasn’t her style. The book is vibrant, deals with a contemporary issue, has a teensy-tiny feminist touch, is choc-a-bloc with colourful characters and leaves you with a smile on your face.

Nicky Hobbs is a thirty-year old, much-loved school teacher in a primary school. Her gang of friends include fellow teachers : Rob (who she shares a romantic history with), Ally (the big-build best-friend with quips galore) and P
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I read this book a long time ago, and I really liked it then. It was a good read. The kind that warms your heart at the end. Maybe it's just me, but the ending (where the kid was reading out his detention essay) made me smile. It reminded me to view things from a simpler point of view, and maybe life will be easier.
Nov 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
A group of teachers at a London school have a year of miscommunications and confusion in their professional life as well as in their personal lives. The Year 6 teacher Miss Nicky Hobbs has her hands full with her newest class, especially when she discovers one of her favorite pupils (Oscar Samuels) has a father that doesn’t seem to be a part of his life. The ear full that Nicky gave to Mark Samuels was a career ender, if he told her boss, but maybe it is the eye opener that Mark needs to become ...more
May 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-list
A surprisingly good plot, considering the blurb on the back let us in to how the book would end. And Melissa Nathan has a knack for picking up on idiosyncracies and putting them into a character which I admire. It's a bit too long though and some parts of it felt muddy, making me wonder if the editors read the whole thing before they hit "send".
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Dec 18, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
*Special Content only on my blog, Strange and Random Happenstance during An Excess of Chicks: Chick Lit Month (April 2014)

Nicky Hobbs loves her job teaching school, even if she often dwells on the fact that her life at thirty is far different from the life she dreamed she'd have when she was twenty three. Well, only her ex Rob knows she wanted to be married by now with three kids... too bad she's working with him, and soon closer then ever. Rob and Nicky are appointed deputy heads of the school
Feb 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, as I have all of Melissa Nathan's books. The saddest thing about this book though, is that it was the last of Ms Nathan's books before she passed away at the age of 37. I wait impatiently for the next books from all of my favourite authors, and it's hard to comprehend that there will be no more books from this delightful author. I feel so very sad that I have now read all of Ms Nathan's books, and that there won't be anymore 'first time' joys from reading her books. I ...more
Josephine Barly
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
I've read previous Melissa Nathan novels and this one is just as perfect as Persuading Annie and The Waitress.
I loved how contemporary the struggles Nicky goes through are, even if the book is a few years old already, and how her inner thoughts are so relatable. Sometimes she's a bit over the top, but I get her as a character. Mark is interesting and delicious, Rob is a walking mystery and the rest of the characters are just perfect.
It's a fun read that may start a bit slow as Melissa Nathan set
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Even though the storytelling is somewhat impersonal, I genuinely enjoyed every page. It is a story about two people who despite many misconducts and misunderstandings find their way to be together and create a family. It was very realistic and showed in full light what presumptions can cause. I liked Nicky very much, adored Oskar and loathed Amanda and Rob - her because she was a bitch, him because he was a two-faced liar who on one hand tried to get Nicky to marry him and have kids since she wa ...more
Clare F
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anybody working with this age group of children.
As I work in a junior school, I found this really funny and had a deja vu feeling as the story unfolded. Three members of the school I work in share these names but are very different to the characters - thankfully !
The only thing I felt didn't really seem right was that 2 members of staff that had only just been made deputies, were being considered for the position of Head. Apart from this, I loved it and some parts were so funny I carried on laughing out loud as I carried on reading.
Rachel Brand
Oct 23, 2007 rated it liked it
I read the first chapter of this book and then didn't go back to it for months because I was put off by the entire paragraph describing the main character putting make-up on. I receieved this as a Christmas present from a friend who didn't know that I'd stopped reading chick-lit. It was an okay read, but I didn't find the main character as relatable as the one in 'The Waitress.'
Kimberlee Hill
Feb 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Her last novel written and my least favorite but it has very moving introduction written by her to her family, husband and young son as she was battling breast cancer and wasn't alive to see the last novel published. As far as I know this book still isn't available in the US, I had to order it from the UK.
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
love love love it <3
It is sad to know, that this was her last book and ther are not any more to come :/
more than 500 pages and I finished it off in 2 days time
all of her books are so heart-felt and make you feel like you're part of the "gang"
Chloe Mangan
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book, as I did with all other Melissa Nathan novels. Such a good storyline and a very easy read. Must have read it 3 times now and it's still a fab book! Sad to know that there are no more books to come from her as she was a very good writer.
Dec 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: modern, fiction
Heart-warming story. Great book to read no matter where you are what time of day it is or what season of the year it is:)
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Melissa Nathan is definitely one of my fave chick lit novelists. I am so sad this is her last book (she died). I am glad that her last book, however, is about a teacher.
Jan 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Completely charming and compulsively readable.
Nov 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Really enjoyed this. Bought it in the airport on the last lag of a long work trip. It was just the thing to relax with on my last flight home. A great girly read.
Voolaa P
Apr 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, fiction
A nice, easy read for the summer holidays!
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2007
Better than average chick-lit about a teacher struggling to balance her love life and career. Some humour, some great characters, and a fast-paced plot. Well written light reading.
Nov 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Claire by: Kelly Cooper
I really liked this book and although it is quite thick i finished it quickly. I also found it easy to relate to as I am in the teaching profession.
Yana Rosli
Apr 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
erm...ok la...its abt a father of a boy who fall in love wif de teacher. neva expecting dat kind of love duh but i unbelieveablely enjoyed reading de book.
Lara Selavka
Sep 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic, probably the most engaging of her books. Terribly sad that no more books will be coming from this fantastic author.
Jul 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-adults
Good chick-lit. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Feb 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Cute, predictable, and British with a capital B, exactly the kind of mindless fluff needed in times of extreme intellectual/emotional stress.
Carolina Gonzalez
The tittle speaks for it self, life is a learning curve!!
Jade Aspinall
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
A light hearted book for when you just want a laugh, and to root for the main character. Every character was flawed, which just main them more real. Full of miscommunications, schemes, and competition, it was definitely a book that I wanted to continue reading.

Also, Oscar, the 11 yr old, was adorable. I don't know if his maturity was portrayed accurately - what some of the things he said and did, actually be said and done by an 11 yr old (I can't remember what it was like being that age, it was
May 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is pretty awful. The main character is stupid and annoying, the various love interests are stupid and annoying. The writing is sloppy and there's about 9 pages of 'tell' to 1 page of 'show'.

I read this with a friend as a sentimental thing because we'd read 'The Nanny' years ago while we were in school, and were hoping this one would be fun. But having read this, I'm now afraid that The Nanny was also pretty crappy and I'm just fond of it because I've forgotten what the writing is like
Jill Pierce
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a light rom-com. The characters were developed well and likable. Classic British humor. I'll read more from this author who has unfortunately passed away.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great fun as expected :o)
Sadly Melissa died just after finishing this book & reading her beautiful acknowledgements bought tears to my eyes.

Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
good comic relief and very relatable for me personally about being career driven women. Although some pages i did have to skim over because i found the characters thoughts abit annoying. Overall a great read
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Melissa Jane Nathan (13 June 1968 – 7 April 2006) was a journalist and UK author of popular "chick lit" novels in the early 2000s.
When working on Persuading Annie (2001), Nathan was diagnosed with breast cancer. She refused to let the illness dominate her life, and - in public anyway - was unfailingly positive. She had no time for most journalism written by cancer sufferers: "self-indulgent dirges
More about Melissa Nathan...
“Why did tears make people treat you like a five-year-old when usually they meant something grown-up was going on inside?” 3 likes
“It never got easier, it just got different.” 3 likes
More quotes…